Selecting Your Surgeon
Once you have made the decision to proceed with aesthetic or cosmetic plastic surgery abroad, the next step is selecting the right aesthetic plastic surgeon for you. Three important considerations are qualifications, surgical facilities and rapport.
Aesthetic plastic surgery requires a highly trained and qualified plastic surgeon.
Start by determining if the prospective surgeon is qualified to perform the procedures you want. The surgeon you select should have training and experience in performing a wide range of aesthetic plastic surgery procedures. Because regulations, training, and certification policies for aesthetic plastic surgeons vary throughout the world, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) can take the uncertainty out of your decision. When you choose an ISAPS member, you can be confident that you have made an excellent choice. No other international organization screens its members as thoroughly and extensively as ISAPS does.
Questions to ask potential surgeons include:
- Are you a member of ISAPS?
- How many procedures of this type have you performed? What is your complication rate?
- How often do you perform the procedure I am considering?
- How many patients have you treated from abroad?
Surgical Facility Privileges
Reputable, qualified surgeons possess surgical privileges at accredited facilities. When selecting a surgeon, it is important to research the surgical setting.
- Hospitals: Even if your procedure will be performed in an outpatient clinic, find out if your surgeon has hospital privileges. Hospital committees routinely examine the training of surgeons to determine whether to allow them to perform the procedures at that institution. It is a warning sign if a surgeon does not have hospital privileges.
- Outpatient clinics: Working in an accredited outpatient clinic is another indication that the surgeon’s training has been evaluated and determined to be acceptable. Validation of the training of a surgeon is a prerequisite to obtaining a certificate from many accreditation organizations. ISAPS partners with American Association for Accreditation for Ambulatory Surgery Facilities International (AAAASFI), formerly known as Surgery Facilities Resources, Inc. (SFR), an international organization that provides accreditation to outpatient surgical facilities.
Finally, it is important that you are comfortable speaking with your surgeon and that you feel that the surgeon understands your goals. Your comfort level with your surgeon facilitates open communication, which is essential in preparing for your surgical procedure. Questions to ask include:
- Do you have before-and-after photos that demonstrate typical results for the procedures I am considering?
- Can I speak with a few of your patients who have undergone similar procedures?